May 21, 2010 – HOUSTON (NYT) – At home in Nigeria, the Pentecostal preacher Helen Ukpabio draws thousands to her revival meetings. Last August, when she had herself consecrated Christendom’s first “lady apostle,” Nigerian politicians and Nollywood actors attended the ceremony. Her books and DVDs, which explain how Satan possesses children, are widely known. So well-known, in fact, that Ms. Ukpabio’s critics say her teachings have contributed to the torture or abandonment of thousands of Nigerian children – including infants and toddlers – suspected of being witches and warlocks. Her culpability is a central contention of “Saving Africa’s Witch Children,” a documentary that will make its American debut Wednesday on HBO2.
Visiting Houston last week to lead a four-night revival for a local church, Ms. Ukpabio, 41, had no idea that “Saving Africa’s Witch Children,” which brought protesters out to greet her in London, was about to be shown in the United States. But she was eager to defend herself.
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